11. Was it a Success? – Scoville’s Viewpoint

Posted on 4th November 2019

After the operation on Henry, You as Scoville, are pleased with his initial response after he wakes up from surgery.

He’s a little confused and muddled but he knows his name, where he is and that JFK is the president. But Henry appears to have trouble remembering the present. The seizures appear to have stopped and you expect the confusion to clear.

But it doesn’t.

You’ve removed most of Henry’s Hippocampus and with it you’ve taken away part of his identity. You’ve wanted to make a name for yourself as a pioneer in science, but what you’ve done is to create someone who only has part of their identity.

Maybe they are only now part human.

You wonder if you’re Doctor Frankenstein and Henry is your monster.

Lashley is wrong. You’ve opened Henry’s brain and by doing so you’ve opened a can of festering worms.

Long Term Memory isn’t everywhere in little pockets, but is deep-rooted like a tree in one area of the brain. It’s in the Hippocampus and here before you is living proof.

In Henry’s brain you’ve uprooted his tree of memory.

Only a damaged stump remains.

You panic about what to do. The scientific community will almost certainly condemn you as a barbarous outcast. But it was an honest mistake and you can prove this. You can argue that you’ve furthered science and in the history of science the vast majority of discoveries have come from mistakes.

You realise that because of what you have done your name will never be forgotten as it will appear in scientific research time and time again.

The irony is not lost on you. Henry has lost his memory and you will be remembered long after you die because you made him lose it. You consult colleagues about what to do next and you reach your decision.

You do what you think is best.

You send Henry off to an institution and you publish your findings, under your own name.

And in your findings, to protect his identity, you refer to Henry only by his initials HM.

His identity is truly lost.

Again, the irony is not lost on you.

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